Each year the EMA Council of Directors selects five theses, which stand out not only for their formal academic qualities but also for the originality of topic, innovative character of methodology and approach, potential usefulness in raising awareness about neglected issues, and capacity for contributing to the promotion of the values underlying human rights and democracy.
Browsing Global Campus Europe (EMA) Awarded Theses by Author "Agelopoulos, Georgios"
(Global Campus of Human Rights, 2021)
Boeren, Annelie; Agelopoulos, Georgios
Many EU countries, including Greece, set up refugee camps to
temporarily accommodate the migrants and refugees that arrived during
the 2015-2016 reception crisis. Although they were created as temporary
solutions, over the years many refugee camps consolidated into prolonged
sites of displacement, which until today continue to accommodate families
and individuals under pressing circumstances. Based on the case study of
the Diavata camp, the thesis examines how the residents of a refugee
camp in mainland Greece experience times of exacerbated exclusion.
Drawing on qualitative research methods in the fields of sociocultural
anthropology and political science, the methodology consists of fieldwork
(ie participant observation and informal interviews), in-depth interviews
with key informants and analysis of reports. Utilising a grounded theory
approach, the thesis conceptualises the refugees’ experiences in the
Diavata camp as processes of prolonged displacement, liminality and
exception. First, it discusses the Diavata refugee camp as a site of multilayered
exclusion through its remote location, enclosed architecture and
discriminatory Covid-19 restrictions. Second, it examines the refugees’
experiences of living in liminality, by scrutinising the co-existing spaces of
‘exception’ and ‘belonging’ in the Diavata camp and the ‘Casa Base’ safe
space next door. Third, it discusses the advent of the new, three-metre
high concrete wall and how this makes the Diavata camp resemble an
occupied enclave. Overall, the relevance this gives to the thesis, from a
human rights perspective, is the documentation and creation of a counternarrative
to both the hegemonic societal discourse and policy practice of
exclusion. This narrative highlights the biopolitics of ‘care and control’ as
a dominant axis of refugee politics in Greece and the EU.